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  #1  
Unread February 21st, 2009, 08:34 AM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Cool Religious attendance not devotion predicts support for suicide attacks

An interesting article from Ed Yong's "Not Exactly Rocket Science" blog.

Ed looks at Jeremy Ginges research attempting to study the relationship of religion and "suicide attacks." The link is hard to miss but the reason has been unclear. Does religious devotion of some particular sort motivate the extreme, as Richard Dawkins for example likes to (often simplistically) claim, or is the motivation somewhere in the social nature of religon? Ginges seems to find more of the latter. I tend to agree with him.

http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketsci...s_devotion.php
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  #2  
Unread February 21st, 2009, 01:31 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Cool Re: Religious attendance not devotion predicts support for suicide attacks

"Ginges studied a wide variety of religious people from various cultures and faiths - from Palestinian Muslims to Israeli Jews, and from British Protestants to Indian Hindus. Across the board, Ginges found that a person's stance on martyrdom had little to do with their religious devotion or to any particular religious belief. Instead, it was the collective side of religion that affected their stance - those who frequently took part in religious rituals and services, were most likely to support martyrdom"

A fellow on Stonejek's EP list inquired about swarms: religion appears, to me, to be a swarm phenomenon, with mixed effects for individuals. Charles Murray concludes that western religion found a God who valued individualism...a gene change or a cultural one? Or is this another Bob Plomin-Frank Galton GxE interaction? Afterall, neurons in London cabbies increase density in the same manner as neurons in violinists or as skin that makes a callus or muscles that grow larger...

There are chapters in Rebellion that cover some of this stuff.

JimB
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  #3  
Unread March 4th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Religious attendance not devotion predicts support for suicide attacks

Religion’s social nature, not devotion, predicts support for suicide attacks? Nonsense. The essentials of the study tell us that Islam, not religion per se, predicts support for suicide attacks.

As the article notes, “suicide attacks are rare or non-existent in [faiths other than the Muslim faith].”

IOW, if there were a thousand suicide attacks last year, by Ginges’ reckoning around 2/3 could be blamed on Islam’s social nature, around 1/3 on Islamic devotion, and probably none would have been committed by Christians or Jews, Christian/Jewish social nature or religious devotion notwithstanding.

The issue of suicide attacks isn’t really a question of religion’s social nature vs. devotion, but rather a question of the Islam vs. other religions. What the study actually tells us is what anyone paying attention already knows----it’s not religion’s social nature or devotion that predicts suicide attacks, it’s Islam----it’s social nature and/or devotion notwithstanding----that predicts suicide attacks. Hello?

OTOH, I realize that current PC compelled Ginges’ approach to the issue and his obtuse conclusion; and what I think all this actually tells us is this: PC may well be our undoing.
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  #4  
Unread March 4th, 2009, 11:36 AM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Cool Re: Religious attendance not devotion predicts support for suicide attacks

It may also be that PC thinking and suicide attacks have a common foundation...

JimB
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  #5  
Unread March 5th, 2009, 11:51 PM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Default Re: Religious attendance not devotion predicts support for suicide attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H. View Post
Religion’s social nature, not devotion, predicts support for suicide attacks? Nonsense. The essentials of the study tell us that Islam, not religion per se, predicts support for suicide attacks.
I appreciate your point, Fred. Maybe there is something about Islam that encourages certain expressions of behavior over others. I tend to agree with you that the content of a religion does have some effect on behavior via attitudes, but I don't think it's always an obvious or straightforward effect. People rarely just act according to the dictates of their religion, they generally find some subset and interpretation of the wider religion that suits them. We are probably influenced by the stories and rules of religion, but we also use them to rationalize what we are already motivated to do for some other reason. Don't you think?

I'm not sure your argument justifies calling the data "nonsense," but I think you're right that there's more going on than just religion generically supporting our social nature.
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  #6  
Unread March 6th, 2009, 01:43 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Cool Religion & Eusocialism

Humans swarm, perhaps in conditions similar to the factors that lead bees or ants to swarm. Scarce resources, and a corresponding need to distribute them equally and according to group priorities, encourage swarms.

Back to Ed Wilson! (Maybe!)

JimB

Again, a plug for Rebellion: Physics to Personal Will.
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